A is sure to be pleased as punch that the next collection of tunes from his current favorite television series is on tap this week, while I’m about to take a moment or two to tell you about one of the finest, most brilliant women in the whole history of women. Keep reading:


When a television series pounds and drills its way so thoroughly into the acceptable mainstream that even my flat-screen-fearing boyfriend knows (and can recite on demand) such pertinent data as on which network and in which timeslot the program airs, you know it must be white hot, and so it has come to pass with Fox’s utterly deranged gem Glee, which has, in stunningly stealth fashion, morphed into a ratings powerhouse this spring while riding American Idol‘s considerable coattails. Counting last month’s Madonna-themed EP, the series has already thrown off three smash companion albums, and this week, the fourth one becomes available when Glee, The Music: Showstoppers arrives in stores. As with the previous collections, the quality of these interpretations veers wildly and unpredictably between hit and miss — which means for every joyously awesome redo (Lea Michele’s terrific take on All-American Rejects’ “Gives You Hell,” say), there’s a jarringly atrocious one waiting right behind it (the less said about these kids’ wickedly miscalculated stab at remaking “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” the better) — but the fact that this record contains not one but two Lady GaGa covers pretty much ensures that A is gonna hop on board this crazy train with both feet.

The shattering, soul-shaking work she did as one irreplaceable half of the influential British band Everything But the Girl will forever live in pop music history — I think it’s not in the slightest an exaggeration to assert that, essentially, one can trace the trajectory of dance music’s explosive popularity over the past two decades solely back to the warm, intoxicating purr she unleashed inside the four walls of Todd Terry’s heartstopping 1995 remix Everything But The Girl - In the Name of Pride - Missing (Todd Terry Club Mix) of “Missing,” which you’ll never convince isn’t one of the ten greatest pop hits of all time — and even though they have been on an indefinite hiatus for many moons now (their last formal album, the aptly-titled Temperamental, dropped eleven years ago, to the detriment of us all), the flawless Tracey Thorn thankfully still pops up with new music every now and again, and I am thrilled to report that she is back this week with her third solo album, Love and Its Opposite. Yeah, you definitely need this.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • I don’t know what made her think I would forget, but Sherry Ann wrote, texted, and called to make sure I wouldn’t fail to mention Infinite Arms, the latest record from indie heroes Band of Horses.

  • Idol‘s original rock god Bo Bice is back with 3, which, chronologically speaking anyway, is the exact slot that this album fills in Bice’s burgeoning discography.

  • Only 2000 copies — all of them vinyl records — were pressed and released of the so-called Bunkhouse Album back in 1986. This week, Lost Highway finally brings to the legendary debut album from
    The Jayhawks into the digital age with a deluxe re-release.

  • Electronica remains alive and well on This is Happening,
    the third album from LCD Soundsystem.

  • After pursuing solo projects for a spell, Dan Auerbach and
    Patrick Carney have reunited as Black Keys, and their sixth album as a duo, Brothers, arrives this week.

  • The Rolling Stones‘ classic Exile on Main Street earns
    a deluxe edition re-release.

  • And finally, as part of its brilliant Shout! Select program, whose sole aim is to directly connect the die-hard fans among us with DVD collections of their favorite television series without having to necessarily satisfy the big box stores’ bottom lines, the sensational folks at Shout! Factory — the very same people who are doing nothing short of yeoman’s work with those crisply restored Designing Women season sets — have just made available for purchase the third season of NBC’s classic Saturday morning sitcom California Dreams. (True confession: I had the biggest crush on Aaron Jackson — who joined the ensemble as the Dreams’ reluctant new lead singer in this season’s riveting first episode — back in the day. And Aaron, if you’re somehow reading this, I would love nothing more than to drag you to Brandon’s Buzz Radio to discuss this very release, sir, and I’ll happily beg you to get in touch with me.) This is not available in stores, so follow the link above and proceed directly to Shout’s website to pick this up. I swear you’ll not be disappointed.

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